Long live beautiful magazine covers

At the moment in Magazineland (aka the MagLab in the JOMEC department of Cardiff University) we are in the process of designing issue 1 of our new magazine re:new which is written and designed by 14 members of our class. The other 16 members are working on Ivy Magazine. Team re:new is working well, and while there were many challenges to begin with, progress is going smoothly and the page layouts are well underway and should, touch wood, be ready to be subbed on Monday.

I now constantly have magazines on the brain. I would say for about 80% of the day anyway. The other 20% of the day is free time spent talking to my housemate, making my dinner or ringing my boyfriend. Magazines on the brain is something which has evolved and strengthened particularly over the last five months – strange that.

Tonight I stumbled across the BSME‘s website (the British Society of Magazine Editors) and I found an interesting video post about the world’s first e-ink cover – Esquire‘s  October 2008 issue.

Now I must admit, in October 2008 as a second-year English undergraduate I was not scanning magazine shelves picking out my favourites covers or paying much attention to the magazine world. I was working on my university’s student newspaper but I was not the diligent trainee journalist that I am today.

This is why the (belated) news of an e-ink cover is quite a big deal to me. 100,000 lucky readers had a chance to own this piece of publishing history. In the future I want to collect my favourite covers, much like my magazine tutor Tim Holmes. Esquire October 2008 is a cover I would loved to have owned.

A quick search for “e-ink cover” reveals only Esquire‘s cover – which I’ve just learnt was their 75th anniversary issue. Bearing in mind that was over a year ago, what has happened to the notion of e-ink covers? I think perhaps Esquire set a precedent which hasn’t been followed. While The Dastardly Report called Esquire‘s e-ink cover “pretty cool“, Wired called it a “21st century flop“.

Covers are meant to be enjoyed though and I think the e-ink cover was a great idea. Magazines are a magical experience, as Esquire editor, David Granger, explained: “I treasure the magazine experience, of like going into this little world that has been prepared for you by somebody else. It’s not like the web where it’s just like this constant cacophony of noise.”

In the future I want to collect magazine covers but for now, here are my favourites I’ve found online and yes, the list will definitely grow:

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